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Davide Sora

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Everything posted by Davide Sora

  1. Unfortunately I haven't read The Strad article (I'm not a subscriber) but it's the first time I've heard of burnt bones and pumice. Each new research finds something different, what's the next? But it is understandable, if there were not some original news it would be boring and no one would read their articles. But I like this new research, because I use pumice, and I must have some bone meal from Kremer somewhere...
  2. Yep, I'm that old... My whole style has evolved a lot, including toolmarks, in the sense that I used to use tools differently before. At lutherie school they taught me to use sandpaper for a lot of things and for all finishes, all smooth, all with rounded edges (my master's style, that in turn was influenced by Ornati and Garimberti work). Then slowly I began to see and understand more and more details, and to get my idea. But the process is long and slow, especially starting from there, it is not at all easy to learn how to do a decent job with cutting tools alone, and understand the reasons why you have to learn to work in this way, especially in the pre-Maestronet era.
  3. My Del Gesù "inspired" violins are rare, but it's not the first I made. The very first violin I sold was a Del Gesù model, 1982 label, still happily used today by the Italian violinist who bought it back then.
  4. Probably as an additional tuner in addition to that of the E string (you didn't specify this in your first post), or if used on all four strings, the ultralight weight could be a valuable advantage. The problem of the inconvenience when replacing the strings remains, but if you can live with it I think it might be a good solution.
  5. It is actually difficult to render them well in a photo, but anyway here are some of my typical scroll tool marks. If some might seem too rough I have an excuse, it's my Del Gesù inspired model The turns of the scroll are finished with gouges only, the chamfer with files and gouge, the back flutings with gouge and scraper, the front flutings with knife. Ready for varnishing. We could start a new game: "where are the toolmarks?"
  6. "Ground" can be many things, in this case I mean any substance that acts as an interface between bare wood and real varnish
  7. Well, making an inaccurate aluminum template would not make much sense, you would always report the same inaccuracies that would take you away from the effort you made to design that model. In fact, before making an accurate template in aluminum, I do several scrolls with thin cardboard templates cut with a knife and using a pencil for tracing them on the wood to make the scroll, marking the turn with many small pinholes by piercing them directly through the cardboard template. Very similar to the original Stradivarian ones for viola and cello. They would also be sufficiently accurate, but after a while they become unusable for wear. In fact I suspect that the (missing) one that Stradivari used for violins was not paper, but a more durable material such as wood or even some metal.
  8. The problem is only of communication with others and repeatability, i.e. if you always use the same tablespoon and take note if it is level or full it will be fine for you when you have found the right dose and it will also be repeatable, if you do not lose it.
  9. Yep, I should have said when you put on something on wood, the "roasting" does not add external substances.
  10. Certainly not mistakes, simply subtle toolmarks, which make us understand that the scroll is finished by gouge without further interventions on those surfaces (scraper, abrasives). Not even inevitable, but consciously left to maintain the freshness of the cut, which would be lost if other interventions were made. I honestly don't understand this obsession with justifying toolmarks or not, they are simply part of the luthier's style, you can leave them (more or less evident) or remove them depending on the result you want to achieve and the tools you like to use. If you like everything smooth, or even rounded, take them off, if you like a sharper, or even coarser look, leave them. The important thing is that they are spontaneous, not artificial. They will talk about how you make violins. Even subtle differences make a difference, whether this is positive or negative is up to you, no one can tell you what your style should be. At least for my violins I want to be the only one to make these decisions, otherwise there would be no room for any personality in our work.
  11. I also used liquid silicate on my first violins (victim of Sacconi's book) with a concentration of 5%. The color was nice due to the oxidation it caused, but its persistent alkalinity that can be reactivated in the presence of moisture is not good at all, As soon as I discovered the UVA lamps I immediately stopped using it. However, when using things that give some color to the wood, never go over with scrapers or abrasives or anything else, because the effect will be ruined and made uneven, as you have seen. I am not a fan of the oil directly on wood, sorry.
  12. I haven't tried, I'm one of those who don't like putting oil (or linoxin) in wood. Anyway I think it would stain it, because my 30+ year old linoxin (not 5) is quite dark, and I'm also one of those who don't like putting colored things in wood
  13. I make all my templates, I've never bought any already made. I think it's an important part of the job, where you learn a lot in the process.
  14. Manfio's tutorial is excellent, highly recommended. If you have more time and patience, this is my contribution which shows how I do my scrolls (24 videos!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WLFJJTf9wM&list=PLaxadm6POX7FzuQcI9Uwv5-COLez2hF-N There are always small differences between luthier and luthier, each of us with practice has found his own system with which he is better off.
  15. Some oxidants could be, even if I don't know which ones and for what purpose they were used, as long as they have been used For your second option, I'd rule it out, at least not before ground.
  16. I would say don't bother about the taptones if you don't bother about the weight
  17. Those who do not disturb the lines of the violin, and those who disturb them. Favorites: Amati toolmarks on the scrolls
  18. More accurate? As for the metric, well, I'm Italian, so I appreciate...
  19. Leaving obvious toolmarks is not my goal, but neither is removing them at all costs. Simply working with manual cutting tools leave toolmarks, the skill with which you use these tools determines wether they are more or less evident under the varnish. I leave a lot of toolmarks, but most of them are only seen by me who can recognize them, and they are definitely more evident in the violin in white, not so much in the finished violin. I also believe that many of the toolmarks visible today on ancient instruments would not be so obvious if the varnish were intact.
  20. Is it color that soak in underlayers? No or stain before ground? No (if you mean as stain, some kind of colored substances that impregnate the wood) or just a visual effect due to light/angle and flames? This certainly plays an important role in the effect. The lighting of the Museo del Violino is quite particular, with a single spotlight from above several meters away with color-calibrated light, reflected from a mirror positioned at the bottom under the violin at a slight angle. All in a dark room, with no other lights around. I don't really like this lighting that makes you lose many details (flashlight essential if you want to see them), but it undoubtedly has a very scenographic effect. Side note as a warning to any visitors: these expensive lamps have reached their life limit these days and their power has dropped dramatically, leaving the instruments practically in the dark, and if you don't have a flashlight you hardly see them. But they haven't replaced them yet, I suppose due to lack of funds. Undoubtedly great for conservation issues, certainly the varnishes will not discolour due to too much powerful lights. I don't think so, but I don't know. Then it depends what you mean by silicate. In the chemical analyzes of these violins silicates are found, but understood as minerals like the ones usually present in natural earths, not the sodium or potassium silicate also called liquid glass which Sacconi spoke of in his book. For me, wood is clean and aging plays a major role.
  21. Another possibility is to add the lime in powder, and immediately afterward a few drops of water to start the reaction, stirring well. Works.
  22. I agree. The light must be barely visible and the gap must close with the simple pressure of the hands (of a normal person, not a bodybuilder)
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